Comparison: WordPress Vs OSCommerce For A Online Store

Creating an online store is no easy feat. Especially for those who are inexperienced with custom coding. The majority of Ecommerce solutions take a bit of getting used to, but for differentiating between which is better – WordPress or OSCommerce, there’s no doubt about it, that it’s hands down, OSCommerce all the way.

The reason being that OSCommerce is specifically designed for creating an online store and it comes jam packed with a rock solid core of open source coding. Perfect for customising your very own, tailored to a deluxe standard online store… provided you know how to utilize it.

There is a problem though, and that’s the difference between OSCommerce and WordPress.

WordPress is a content management system (CMS for short). It’s the perfect platform to display content.

Elegantly coded, you can easily change the look and feel of your site, to create the exact web design you have a vision of for, once it’s fully completed. From the pixel width in your sidebar navigation, to custom headers, widget placements, and the all-important SEO features integrated into the world-renowned plugins available for WordPress.

WordPress was designed and built for mainstream blogging. A Content Management System for putting emphasis on delivering information efficiently, with an aesthetically pleasing design.

It’s not designed for an online store though – OSCommerce is.

The tricky part is combining the two frameworks into the one web design, for a harmonious online store, that switches seamlessly between a blog and website content, to the shop section of your website.

Without knowing how to tweak the codes and integrate the two frameworks into the design, it gets extremely complex – real fast!

A few years back, it wasn’t so much of a problem for Ecommerce web designers, as the WordPress plugin directory did have the WP-OSCommerce plugin that would integrate the CMS with Ecommerce without a glitch.

Those plugins have pretty much become redundant now though, having not been updated in a couple of years, and still coded to the framework prior to WordPress 3.0 being introduced.

Combining a store with informational pages, such as your about page, contact, terms of service, legal disclosures and the like, are all going to require knowledge of HTML and PHP to add the static web pages into the site, as those aren’t part of the OSCommerce framework. There are over 7,000 add ons available now though, so you’ll be sure there’s something available to integrate some WordPress features, that’s otherwise redundant. If not, there’s a community of over a quarter million members, familiar with the framework for which you can turn to for assistance, if you do run into technical problems.

It’s why many designers have a preference to use WordPress to manage the content on the site, while the OSCommerce framework takes care of the online store part.

The problem is widely recognised in the design community, but there’s yet to be an updated plugin to make the integration seamless, for both WordPress and OSCommerce. The only reason you’d need to do that now though is if you’re planning to have a regularly updated blog, or news section on your online store, for which WordPress does a better job at.

For sales though, not so much, it’s OSCommerce that’ll do a better job in that department.

If you are requiring an integration of both frameworks, there is a slight alternative called WP-OSCommerce (WP.OSC for short) framework, instead of the plugin, which does make it slightly easier to manage the two.

WP.OSC is another open source framework, which you can download, and upload to your directory, but you can’t put it in the root folder. It needs a separate entity. You’d upload it to a new folder named “shop” or “store” or the like, but be warned, when you do this, you’ll have to then go in and edit a lot of coding in your WordPress template, to replace all calls to the functions.php folder, replacing it from the WordPress functions to the wp.osc functions instead.

It’s not the easiest of workarounds, but it is one way around the barrier of integrating the best of Ecommerce from OSCommerce, and the best Content Management System for managing your content via WordPress.

For online stores that don’t require much in the way of content management, OSCommerce leads the way. A close competitor is that of Magento, however the preference still lies with OSCommerce, as Magento is known for its slow load time.

For fast page loading on an Ecommerce website, a lighter touch is needed, and that’s why OSCommerce is positioned as a leading Ecommerce software solution to provide one of the most high end designed online stores around. More importantly – They Work!

Capable of managing your entire catalogue of inventory, retaining order history, full search capabilities, shopping carts, to secure check outs… everything you need for an online store is what you get with OSCommerce. You don’t get any of those with WordPress, as the framework is for a CMS, and not developed for an Ecommerce solution.

For an Ecommerce framework committed to open source, in addition to over 7,000 add on products, OSCommerce appears to be catching up with WordPress and steadily gaining an advantage for online retailers, through the additional add-ons making it easier to integrate content publishing within your store inventory.

Much of what WordPress does for Content Management; OSCommerce can do the same, with the added advantage of the Ecommerce software (open source) solution to enhance your store even more.

OSCommerce gives you all of that as well as a community of over a quarter million members, so even if you do run into a little bit of agro getting your store up and running, there’s plenty of support from the community members.

Editorial Staff

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